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Entries in Electric Zoo (14)

Friday
Sep062013

A Message To Our Family Far & Wide

A lot has been on my mind since this last weekend, so I’ve been waiting to write this in an attempt to get it sorted out in my head. Since moving to New York City from Arizona two years ago, Electric Zoo has served as a symbol of summer’s end and my own growth as both a fan of electronic music and as a human being. The area isn't somewhere I usually frequent, yet each time I go back the park is always somehow still floating across the bridge in the very same place yet with a very different vibe each year.

Though it hurt to see the media label one of my most comforting places a “Death Fest” and to hear the insensitivity on the part of some attendees towards the deaths of those who inadvertently killed themselves, what really hurt the most was the abruptness with which people were willing to sneer at this community they had loved just the day before.

Ravers and business executives are quick to liken the dance music movement to the counter-culture of the late 60s yet in that comparison they miss our biggest virtue: we don’t have an agenda. We’re not liberals, convervatives, anti-political or anarchists, we just want to fucking dance. We accept the things that are outside of our control and throw them to the side because, at least for now, there’s nothing better or more perfect to be doing. So stop working yourself up. You are not your surroundings. The scene is not “dead” because there are a million scenes on this planet of 7 billion+ people. So maybe we can’t throw mega-raves in high profile public parks anymore, is that really that big of a deal?

Now I've had my doubts about this scene (or whatever you want to call it) and our generation plenty of times, and it’s happened just as many times at illegal raves with people rolling around on the floor high on a medley of drugs than it has at corporate-owned festivals. But I do know one thing: we have something going for us here. In a bleak world that’s been suffering for over a decade and about to enter new wars, we line up on the sides as the pacifists. We are tied together in unprecedented ways through social media and are quick to seize others in as our own. We are the citizens of this brave new world.

This whole thing wasn’t about “bros vs. ravers,” it wasn’t about commercialism, it wasn’t even about drugs. It was a wake-up call to give up the identity crisis and to stop trying to force things to be a certain way. Radiate optimism, share smiles with those around you, and like the music that binds us, go with the flow. This bass-driven journey isn’t even close to over. 

By Edward Fancher

Monday
Aug262013

Electric Zoo Friday Preview: Cyril Hahn @ Sunday School Grove

Since the first Zoo in 2009, the north side of Randall's Island park has remained cordoned off into its own little section of heady underground audio paradise. But despite the welcomed expansion of the festival over subsequent years, the stage still holds onto its notoriety as one of the premiere East Coast venues for al fresco Tech and Deep House listening. Vancouver-based Cyril Hahn will be ushering in the fifth anniversary Grove celebrations early on Friday afternoon. The Swiss-born artist first found renown for his atmospheric House sound just over a year ago for his remixes of Destiny's Child and Mariah Carey, which netted support across the British airwaves with the help of everyone from Diplo to Annie Mac.

The prestige that followed after just three years within the realms of electronic served indispensable as a stepping stone towards a respected career as a fusion-centered solo producer, which came in the form of a recent record deal with PMR records (home to the Disclosure brothers) for this coming fall. As a DJ, Hahn's sound is equally synthesized, self-described as "a weird mix of different influences and phases in my life. The noise from my hardcore/punk phase when I was a teenager, the drones and excessive use of reverb from my post-rock/ambient phase and my more recent liking towards R&B."

Cyril's style shows an affinity for delicately binding stirringly deep R&B vocal lines and floating piano sections, a huge contrast to the darker Tech sound that will have the Grove fogged each night as dusk comes over the East River. If there's a crowd that's ready marinate in funky Electro pop and Deep House, it's the people of the Sunday School Grove. See you there early at 1:50 PM!

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By Anne Chang

Follow me on Twitter: @Ann3c5

Tuesday
Jun042013

5 Mixes to Get You Pumped for Electric Zoo 5

Festival curation is a gift often overlooked, and today Made Event came through in more ways than imaginable for the third phase of the Electric Zoo lineup. Phase II had all the bases covered with headliners representing the best of bass, Tech, and Electro - but that was just the beginning. While I will admit that there isn't a genre-specific flow to a lot of these stages, it really doesn't matter with the talent that's been confirmed. You'd think it'd be hard to get me excited over something so far away with over five festivals before the big hurrah to end the summer, but this schedule is seriously slick. To get you all as stoked as we are we've compiled a few mixes representing the best new zookeepers added to this year's roster.

John O'Callaghan

If anyone's going to transition the vibes from bass to 140 JOC's the man to do it. His style is all about the pressure between vocal rifts and the thrust of relentless basslines that hammer the sounds through the crowd. As Ireland's top DJ, John forged an alliance with John Askew's Discover early on in his career which paved the way for him to rank 24 on DJ Mag's Top 100 by 2009. Later that year he established one of Armada's most successful sub-labels Subculture, which has since provided a haven for him to harvest talent specific to his driving sound. Kick off the festival bright and early Friday with JOC at the Hilltop Arena!

Orjan Nilsen

One of Armin van Buuren's closest allies has also been giving him a run for his money. The artist has demonstrated since 2011 his knack for commanding a main stage crowd with the sounds of Trance & Progressive as one of the scene's biggest breakthrough artists, but his history goes much deeper. As a native of the polar region of northern Norway, Orjan used the isolation to his advantage picking up the keyboard at age seven and later moving on to synthesizers as a teenager. His productions fluctuate widely between old-school rave Trance and Electro "Trance 2.0," but he's never afraid to throw a curveball with chunkier basslines and a shade of Tech. I'll be excited to see him for the first time Friday at Main Stage East!

Nicole Moudaber

The Tech vixen caught my attention on a sweaty day the first weekend of Ultra when I was wandering stages and found my home under the sprawling MegaStructure. Since then I've been hooked to her inescapable groove that straddles the dark and groovy sides of Tech House in a way that's quite indescribable. After her widely celebrated album Believe, Nicole's been ripping up stages from Cielo in New York to the huge clubs of Ibiza. Over Memorial Day weekend Nicole pulverized the cavernous Underground stage at Detroit Electronic Music Festival in one of the headiest sets I've heard this year. And her hair is awesome. Catch Nicole Sunday with Drumcode co-conspirator Adam Beyer at the Sunday School Grove.

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Tuesday
May072013

Electric Zoo NYC Announces Phase 2 Lineup

The zookeepers love to tease us animals, leaving this tantalizing lineup just out of our reach while we shuffle around our cages hungry for another 115 days. After a very well-received Phase 1 Lineup for the 5th annual Electric Zoo festivalMade Event promised us a longer roster today and they sure did deliver. Now the only thing left out of the formula for a massive labor day weekend are the afterparty announcements, which should be coming our way in early August. Click the image to see the full-sized lineup.

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By Edward Fancher

Tuesday
Apr092013

Electric Zoo NYC Announces Phase 1 Lineup

New York's annual Electric Zoo is headed back to the place it began at Randall's Island Park this year right in the heart of New York City. Tri-State promoter Made Event promised us animals two mainstages this year, and today they are here to deliver the first phase of headliners for them both. The newly redesigned festival that is now 18+ (!!!) is sure to pack all the fun we had the last two years at the Hilltop, Riverside, and Sunday School into an even bigger package with two mainstages East & West in an expanded setup that is sure to take the production even higher. Click the lineup image to enlarge. 

Tickets

By Edward Fancher